Israel Daily News Stream 02/27/2012

Israel Daily News Stream

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Ex-Mossad chief says Israel doesn’t need Palestinians to recognize it as a Jewish state. Campuses and columnists gear up for Israel Apartheid Week. And Azerbaijan and Israel ink a $1.6 billion arms deal. What does that mean for neighboring Iran?

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Israel and the Palestinians

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators talking to the Washington Times give conflicting accounts of why Jordanian sponsored talks failed.

Why did Hamas issue a warrant for the arrest of Khalil Abu Shamala, the director of a Gaza human rights NGO? According to Maan News,

. . . the arrest warrant included accusations from the Hamas-run energy authority that he had blamed them for the current energy crisis in Gaza.

It also said that he had created a rift amongst citizens, as well as threatening the security of the authority.

Efraim Halevy

Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy says Israel doesn’t need to be recognized by the Palestinians as a Jewish state.

Halevy questioned why Israel needs such assurance, and cited a conversation that he had engaged in with a prominent Palestinian, who had told him that Israel’s insistence on recognition, would suggest that if the Palestinians don’t recognize Israel, Israel would lose its right to exist.

Israel has convinced the free world that if Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist, “we won’t talk to them,” said Halevy, who implied that this was so much hogwash. “We talk to them all the time,” he said, then later corrected himself, saying that Israel may not be talking directly to Hamas, but communicates with Hamas.

As for the Iranian nuclear project, Halevy disclosed some of the details of a meeting on nuclear non-proliferation that he had attended in a European capital. There were several high ranking Iranian representatives at this meeting and the Iranian ambassador had declared that Israel must be forced to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

“Israel has never said that it has nuclear weapons, nor has it said that it hasn’t,” said Halevy, who had seized on the Iranian ambassador’s remarks and had told him that he was absolutely right, because only legitimate states sign international treaties and that this was the first time that the Iranians had recognized the State of Israel.

Israel Apartheid Week

Jonathan Kay (National Post) picks apart Israel Apartheid Week in light of the Arab Spring.

The IAW website is full of the usual rhetoric about Israel’s “criminal” actions. There is not a word of acknowledgement about how utterly ridiculous it is to run a week-long event vilifying Israel when right next door in Syria, the government has just exterminated more Arabs than were killed in both Intifidas, the 2008 Gaza conflict, and the 2006 Lebanon war combined.

The timing of IAW this year truly does represent something of a farce. The eyes of the entire world are focused on Syria and the Strait of Hormuz. Even West Bank Palestinians themselves now seem more concerned with building up their economy than with grand international gestures aimed at the Jewish state. And in the “occupied” Golan Heights, Druze Muslims have been stirring — not against Israel, but against the Assad regime that many once looked to for “liberation.” In the streets of Cairo, Sana’a and Tunis, no one is talking about Israel — only about when they will get the democracy they were promised. Only among cultish, single-minded anti-Israel activists has the news of the Arab Spring failed to circulate.

Kay also gives a shout out to Norman Finkelstein, who called the BDS a “cult of dishonesty.” If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video.

Arguing the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign with Norman Finkelstein from HuffPoMonitor on Vimeo.

The Sorbonne is closing for two days rather than allow Israel Apartheid Week events to take place. Israel Matzav writes:

Israel Radio is reporting that the Sorbonne’s President has forbidden Israel apartheid week from taking place on its campus, and that prohibition has the backing of the French courts. However, the pro-‘Palestinian’ ‘activists’ have said that they will hold the event by force. As a result, the university’s President has ordered the university closed on Monday and Tuesday to prevent the event from taking place. In response to charges by the ‘activists’ that not allowing the event will impair ‘academic freedom,’ the university has said that there is no academic freedom at an event where the other side cannot respond.

Pro-Palestinian students at the University of New Mexico disrupted a talk by Nonie Darwish. The ensuing pushing and shoving was posted on YouTube. Background at KOB.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Israel and Azerbaijan sign $1.6 billion defense deal. AP looks at the Israeli sale of drones, anti-aircraft and missile defense systems in the context of its implications for neighboring Iran:

It was not clear whether the arms deal with Azerbaijan was connected to any potential Israeli plans to strike Iran. Israel’s ties with Azerbaijan, a Muslim country that became independent with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, have grown as its once-strong strategic relationship with another Iranian neighbor, Turkey, has deteriorated . . .

According to the latest WikiLeak dump, Israeli commandos working with Kurdish fighters destroyed an Iranian nuclear site. More on that at Haaretz and YNet.

The Daily Telegraph, among others, picks up on Iranian state media trumpeting its Oscar award for “The Separation” as a nationalist triumph over Israel. What does the stupid smack talk say of the way the regime views Iran’s place in the world?

Arab Spring Winter

YNet: Dr. Awad al-Qarni — who once offered $100,000 to anyone who kidnaps an Israeli soldier — now says it’s more noble to kill Bashar Assad than to kill an Israeli. No cash prize is mentioned, so expect Deborah Orr to denounce Israel for having soldiers worth $100,000 while Syrian lives are worth nothing.

Marie Colvin, Anthony Shadid

The deaths of Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin have Arab reporter Diana Mukkaled doing some soul searching. Why, she asks, aren’t Arab journalists risking their lives to cover Syria too?

As we watch reports and documentaries produced by professional Western correspondents, we tend to neglect the fact that we are monitoring events and developments in Syria thanks solely to these Western correspondents. This is happening whilst the Arab media is content with screening interviews conducted with people inside Syria via Skype, or receiving unconfirmed reports sent by native Syrian journalists. This is no longer acceptable after the Western media has successfully reported the situation in Syria from within.

Why did Anthony Shadid feel it was his duty to risk his life to report what is happening in Syria? Why did his newspaper agree to his request? . . .

Anthony Shadid, when deciding to travel to Syria, was not reacting to a demand made by the editors of the New York Times. Rather, he went to Syria for two reasons: Firstly, he felt that the story must be written from there; secondly, he was certain that his readers would not accept stories about Syria written from outside the country. Here, the New York Times, as an administration, served as a bridge between these two demands; helping its correspondent and publishing whatever he wrote without censorship.

Rest O’ the Roundup

AFP: French high court to rule tomorrow on the 11-year legal battle between France 2 TV and media activist Philippe Karsenty over the station’s Mohammed al-Dura footage.

(Image of Halevy via YouTube/HerzliyaConference, Shadid via Flickr/Terissa Schor, Colvin via Flickr/biscator’s)

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